Two Years Later, and It Feels Like Yesterday

13 12 2011


As you may know, Joint Council has participated in Haiti’s child welfare system since 2003, but following the January 2010 earthquake, we significantly stepped up our efforts on behalf of Haitian children. Together with our partner organizations, we served over 45,000 children and families through programs at hospitals, medical clinics, child care centers, and adoption and food distribution programs. Specifically, we

  • Coordinated the emergency aid to orphanages and other institutions,
  • Created a database used to identify children, families, emergency relief needs and permanency options,
  • Directly educated and informed over 51,000 individuals, adoptive families and professionals,
  • Assisted with the development, coordination and implementation of the USCIS Humanitarian Parole Program for children.

Following the earthquake it has become increasingly clear that our partners (many of them small NGOs) need leadership from an organization that works on a spectrum of services to children — the kind of leadership Joint Council can provide. However, in the 23 months since the disaster, a lack of funds has forced us to decrease our efforts in Haiti.

Please help us change the lives of countless children in Haiti by making a tax-deductible donation to Joint Council today. Together, we can make sure that these forgotten children live healthier, happier lives and for countless orphans, help them find a permanent, loving home.

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Russia: Making Progress, Thanks to You

12 12 2011

In 2010, you sprang into action when Joint Council asked you to show your support of Russian adoptions through our We Are The Truth campaign. Thank you for your support!

What a difference a year makes. This past July, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov signed a bilateral adoptions agreement that will strengthen procedural safeguards in adoptions between our countries.

Can we say that your participation, your calls for change and your support of our efforts on behalf of Russian children in need of a family made that agreement happen? Maybe not directly, or individually, but together we made a BIG difference. Your voice gave strength to our work and thanks to people like you, Russian adoptions are back on track.

This year also brought a celebration of the achievements of one very talented Russian adoptee, Tatyana McFadden. Tatyana, who faced multiple health challenges as a child and is a wheelchair user as a result of late-diagnosed spina bifida, was nominated for an ESPY Award this spring! We are all so proud of Tatyana. She truly represents the resiliancey and strength of the human spirit, even when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds.

And that’s what it’s all about for these orphaned children — beating the odds.

You’ve helped us before and now we need your help again. Please make a tax-deductible donation to Joint Council today. Your donation will allow us to continue working with the Russian Federation, the United States government, and adoption advocates everywhere, to ensure that Russian – U.S. adoptions continue well into the future.





Guatemala – Broken Promises, Unfulfilled Dreams

12 12 2011

This year has been another difficult one for the more than 300 children who are still trapped in the broken system that has halted intercountry adoptions in Guatemala. Only 32 adoptions of Guatemalan children by families in the United States were completed in the past year. Only 32 more children are now spending their holidays in the arms of their new loving family. Clearly, our work in Guatemala is far from done.

But the year has had some bright spots. This year Sen. Landrieu made two trips to Guatemala to advocate for children and potential adoptive families, and she continues to champion orphans across the globe. In October, reason.tv released a documentary that focused on elimination of intercountry adoption in Guatemala in a way not often discussed in the media. The documentary can be viewed on our website.

Much like the scrutiny and attention by the international community exposed the corruption of the prior system, this same community must now refocus their attention to bring to light Guatemala’s ineffective implementation of the Hague Convention and its subsequent impact on institutionalized children and Guatemalan families.  Adoption reform in Guatemala has not resulted in the prosecution of criminals, nor has it served the best interest of children. What it has done is force thousands of children into orphanages, onto the streets, or even worse.

Joint Council needs your help to continue advocating for the ethical and legal finalization of all adoptions initiated prior to the closure of intercountry adoption in Guatemala, and for the formation of services that are desperately needed to ensure that children retain their right to a family.  Please help us in our efforts to call on all stakeholders who previously asked for reforms to move with speed in order to provide these much needed services.

 





Vietnam Adopts Hague Convention – and You Helped!

12 12 2011

Because of your involvement with Joint Council’s efforts on behalf of Vietnamese children in need of a family, we wanted to make sure you knew that the U.S. State Department has announced that Vietnam has ratified the Hague Adoption Convention, and that it will go into force beginning February 1, 2012.

Under U.S. law, the United States Central Authority (USCA) must now evaluate whether procedures leading to the adoption of a child in Vietnam conform to the standards established by the Convention and the U.S. Intercountry Adoption Act (IAA).  While this is a very positive development, it certainly has been a long time in coming and there is still much work to be done before adoptions between the U.S. and Vietnam resume. We hope you will continue to support us in this extended campaign.

We wish to thank all of you for participating in our Child’s Right campaign, which involved 147 Congressional offices, thousands of concerned individuals like you and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute — all with a goal of re-starting adoption between the U.S. and Vietnam.  Together we hosted a Vietnam Summit, developed standards for Vietnamese adoptions, led numerous delegations to Vietnam and hosted a Vietnamese delegation in Washington, DC. It is thanks to your dedication that Vietnamese children are so much closer to having adoption available to them in 2011.

Joint Council needs your support to continue our work on behalf of vulnerable children throughout the world. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Joint Council this holiday season.

On behalf of everyone at Joint Council, thank you again for your support and we hope you have a wonderful holiday season.





A Picture Perfect Moment Photo Contest- Help Us Choose the Winners!

6 12 2011


We received over a hundred beautiful pictures for our 2011 A Picture Perfect Moment Photo Contest. Help us choose the winners from our top 14! Select one of the picture below and cast your vote.  Please only vote once! Make sure to vote by 11:59 PM EST on December 18th, 2011! Winners will receive gift cards from national companies.

Winners will be announced the week of December 19th, 2011.

Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Please note: If Joint Council suspects inappropriate behavior on the part of an individual regarding voting, Joint Council reserves the right to disqualify the individual’s votes and/or pictures.





International Exhibition: Life In Motion – “I Want To Walk”

30 11 2011

Life in Motion, a unique photo exhibition created to raise awareness about orphaned children who are unable to live a fulfilled life due to their physical limitations will premier on December 8th at the Rita K. Hillman Education Gallery in New York city.  Life in Motion, is an international collaboration between the International Center of Photography, the “Artist Foundation” and Happy Families, Inc. (a Joint Council Member-Partner).

In our supporting role and continued partnership with HFIC, Joint Council is participating in the premier of the exhibition and is working with HFIC to bring this very special exhibition to Washington DC in 2012.

Led by renowned photographer Ed Kashi, the exhibition showcases the work of 10 students from the International Center of Photography (ICP) and the Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia who photographed children at orphanages and rehabilitation centers in Russia.

This project is part of a greater program, I Want to Walk, created by HFIC to help orphaned children obtain their dream of walking. For some children this meant physically being able to walk, while for others “walking” also meant being able to leave the orphanage and achieve their goals. All of us at Joint Council are proud to join other partners in supporting I Want To Walk and Life In Motion. Those supporting the exhibition include Flotek, Transaero (Official Transportation Partner of the Life in Motion” project), the Renaissance Moscow Hotel, the Restaurant Mari Vanna-Ginza Project, Social Mavens, the Venta Group, Arts+Business Partners, the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, and the Dorothea Haus Ross Foundation.

For more information on Life In Motion and I Want To Walk, please call 212.857.0001.





Announcing Joint Council’s 4th Annual National Adoption Month Photo Contest!

1 11 2011

Is there a special child or children in your life? Do you have a picture of them lying around the home that you just love? Share it with us in honor of National Adoption Month for the chance to win a gift card to a national company!

Our 4th annual National Adoption Month Photo Contest will be open for submissions November 1st- November 30, 2011. We are looking for beautiful, inspiring photos of all types of children- children in orphanages, foster homes, or adoptive families, engaged in all types of activities- children at play, in reflection, or just being loved. Click here to learn more about the contest.







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